Police prepare for pot in Pullman
As cities and pot enthusiasts gear up to open recreational marijuana stores in Washington next year, the City of Pullman and Washington State University are devising plans on how to keep students from getting high.
Police in Pullman and Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers share concerns that marijuana is the drug of choice in Whitman County and on the WSU campus. Even though it's now legal to smoke, they worry it continues to encourage criminal activity.
According to students, pot isn't out of control at WSU, but you can see it and smell it around campus.
"I've seen people light up joints outside of dorms and stuff," WSU sophomore Tyler Pratt said.
The problem? You're not allowed to smoke marijuana on campus or even have it. WSU Assistant Police Chief Steve Hansen said his department is educating the student body that tolerance for marijuana is still at zero.
"The RAs in their residence halls are trained on the odor of marijuana. We get a lot of reports from RAs of people smoking marijuana in the residence halls, and we go there and take care of it," Hansen said.
There's also a growing concern from the Sheriff Myers for his constituents and for WSU students who smoke. He worries when pot shops open next year, taxes will make the pot price too high.
"An ounce will go from as much as 250-300 dollars, up to 500-600 dollars," he said.
That could lead smokers -- including the ones at WSU -- to continue breaking the law, by buying from dealers off the street instead of the stores abiding by state law.
"Just because we now have legalized marijuana, we'll still have illegal or criminal enterprise happening because there's money to be made there," Myers said.
Those marijuana retail stores -- including up to three in Pullman -- are set to open around June of next year.
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